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Caliphate is still utopian ideal for defectors who fled brutality

Article published in The Times citing Dr. Anne Speckhard

Many Islamic State fighters view the group as a brutal and corrupt organisation, according to accounts of dozens of defectors, but its utopian message is likely to endure long after the demise of its self-declared Caliphate.

Dr Anne Speckhard, a professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University who has interviewed 32 defectors from the terrorist group in the past year said that they became revolted by the brutality of Isis methods but rarely questioned the group’s underlying concept of forming an Islamic state.

Dr Speckhard, co-author of Isis Defectors: Inside Stories of the Terrorist Caliphate, said that the group’s ideologues… read more

Anne Speckhard, Ph.D. is Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine and has also taught the Psychology of Terrorism for the Security Studies Department in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She is the Director of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism. Dr. Speckhard has been working in the field of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) since the 1980’s and has extensive experience working in Europe, the Middle East and the former Soviet Union.

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